Each year my church celebrates the birth of our congregation as well as the birthdays of each member. Twelve tables are decorated, one for each month, desserts and delicious homemade food is prepared and brought in. Guests and members walk in anticipation the short distance from the main church to the annex, a large single room with a kitchen and classrooms off one hallway.
Special music and readings are prepared for the enjoyment of all. This year, there was an accordian hymn, jokes, a story of creation, the story of Fannie Crosby with an acapella rendition of one of her hymns, and a poem by Tennyson. The talents shared represent the joy and fullness of life Jesus’ followers are intended to have as an extended family of believers.
Live in Urgency
A devotion spoke of the importance of living in urgency, with the sense that each person has the responsibility to share Jesus with everyone he or she meets. From Revelation where Jesus repeats multiple times “I am coming soon.” we, as Christ-followers, have the obligation to take this seriously. Coupled with the idea of “going” from Matthew 28, we are required to make the most of every minute to emulate the love and compassion shown by Jesus while on Earth. Treating others with grace and truth can make as much of an impact as the words of the gospel.
Success versus Significance
A point of focus was the difference between success and significance. Success is self-focused, mostly concerned with a rising of one’s own fortunes. Significance, on the other hand, is outward focused. It is about the effect we have on the lives of others – on how we encourage or lift them up.
While success may put one in a position where being significant is made easier, success in the world’s definition often relates merely to financial gain, wielding power over others, and having a face that is recognized by many. If one is satisfied with those definitions, the desire for significance may wane or disappear. Though there are many prominent people who are significant in the lives of those less fortunate or ambitious the heart of the successful is generally related to the depth of significance.
When a person chooses to help others because he or she is following the lead of Jesus, who forsook His powerful position in Heaven to come to earth bound by flesh, then that person’s significance is likely enlarged. There is no age limit on significance, nor is there a large financial risk required. What is needed is a willing heart, a humble attitude, and a desire to share the most important gift ever given – Jesus’ unmatched love for each of His creation, His intentional sacrifice, and triumphant resurrection.
Will you allow personal discomfort to keep that gift from those in your circle of influence? Will you refuse to cross the cafeteria or the street to share that amazing news with those you know and care for? I have, but I am striving to change. And, in changing, to become more significant.
This challenge is for my readers, but also for myself. I challenge each person to claim our role as stated in the passage known as the Great Commission in Matthew 28 to “Go and Make Disciples of all nations. . .” Go to those you know. Share the love and grace and truth of Jesus with them. When they are ready, proclaim the good news that they no longer need be trapped in their prison because Jesus has unlocked their cell door and longs to lead them into the light of His protection and forgiveness. BE SIGNIFICANT!